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Gibson Jack Trailhead

By Marc Bowen

Last Fall Hike Of The Year

I did a late fall hike several days ago near Ririe, Idaho but didn’t want that to be my last hike of the year. See my blog post Cress Creek Rim – Fall Hike

My son and I did a hike together in the Sawtooths in August (see the blog post at Alice Lake Sawtooth Wilderness ) and we  have been trying to get together for another hike ever since. He lives in Pocatello Idaho about an hour away from me. Pocatello has some great trail systems one of which is just one canyon over from where my son lives.

Gibson Jack 

  • Trailhead Elevation – 5148
  • Highest Elevation – 6443
  • Elevation Gain – 1305
  • Difficulty – intermediate/difficult
Photo by: Marc Bowen

This area has just recently been updated with new parking area, facilities and signs.


The highlighted area of the map is the area we hiked today

One reason the Gibson Jack Trail system is so popular is that it connects with almost all of the major trail systems on Pocatello’s west bench.

Photo by: Marc Bowen

The trails in this area are clearly marked.

Photo by: Marc Bowen

Weather was very nice for a late October day as we headed up the trail. This trail system is open to horseback riding and mountain biking as well as hiking. There is also a half-mile ATV trail that ties into the Gibson Mountain Trail or South Fork Gibson Jack.

Photo by: Marc Bowen

The first section of trail was in pretty open country with sage brush and cedar. The further up the mountain we went we saw more trees. Mostly aspen and pine. Some of the aspens still had some leaves left on them, a few with fall colors.

Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen

As we got higher up the canyon the trees grew thicker and it’s been cold enough up here that the leaves have all fallen off the trees.

Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen

There is alot of Elderberry bushes in this area. Probably the best picking is in late September or early October.

Photo by: Marc Bowen

As we headed back down the trail we passed several other hikers and some trail-runners.

Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen

I don’t think my son realized how many photos I shot of him on the way down the mountain. But hey, he was in front of me so why not be in my photos.

Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen

Fall colors were almost gone but still enough on the trees and brush to make it beautiful.

Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen

We kept our eyes open for wildlife. We saw a few birds and squirels but didn’t see any bigger game on this hike. Deer, elk, moose, wild turkey and mountain lions are seen frequently in this area.

Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen

Some great views down into the valley and the parking lot could be seen in the distance.

Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen
Photo by: Marc Bowen

Looking back up the trail as we finished our hike, and with the sun low in the evening sky I relected on how grateful I was to get out and hike one last time before winter sets in. I’m glad I was able to have my son with me on this one.

I will surely be back to this area in the future. Lot’s of trails still to explore.

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